Top 12 Books on the Resurrection of Jesus

Caravaggio - The Incredulity of Saint Thomas (ca. 1602)

Here are a dozen of the very best modern Christian books on the subject of the historicity of the resurrection of Jesus. I have attempted here to refer to as many different authors as I can while still listing what I think are the most important books on this subject.

Copan, Paul, ed. Will the Real Jesus Please Stand Up? A Debate between William Lane Craig and John Dominic Crossan. Moderated by William F. Buckley, Jr. With responses from Robert J. Miller, Craig L. Blomberg, Marcus Borg, and Ben Witherington III. Grand Rapids: Baker, 1998. Perhaps the most interesting published debate on the resurrection of Jesus; Craig and Crossan are leading defenders of their positions.

Craig, William Lane. The Historical Argument for the Resurrection of Jesus during the Deist Controversy. Texts and Studies in Religion 23. Lewiston, NY: Edwin Mellen Press, 1985. Only work of its kind, with preliminary material on the history of historical reasoning about the Resurrection from the first century up to the early modern era leading into the period of Deism.

Evans, Craig A. Jesus and the Remains of His Day: Studies in Jesus and the Evidence of Material Culture. Peabody, MA: Hendrickson, 2015. Most recent book by Evans on the evidence surrounding the death, burial, and empty tomb of Jesus.

Fuller, Daniel P. Easter Faith and History. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1965. Includes an important argument for the historicity and authenticity of Paul’s encounter with the risen Jesus.

Habermas, Gary R., and Michael R. Licona. The Case for the Resurrection of Jesus. Grand Rapids: Kregel, 2004. Two of the leading scholars on the Resurrection teamed up to produce this readable, solid defense of its historicity. The most “user-friendly” defense of the resurrection of Jesus (written as an apologetic manual for Christians); includes a CD with games to help learn the content of the book.

Licona, Michael R. The Resurrection of Jesus: A New Historiographical Approach. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2010. Protégé of Gary Habermas advances the evidentialist “resurrection apologetic” by grounding it in a careful study of modern historiography.

O’Connell, Jake. Jesus’ Resurrection and Apparitions: A Bayesian Analysis. Eugene, OR: Resource Publications, 2016. Recent work of scholarship arguing that the Resurrection is a better explanation of the facts than the claim that the disciples saw actual apparitions such as those studied in parapsychology. In my view, a flawed book, but valuable for addressing head-on the issue.

Quarles, Charles, ed. Buried Hope or Risen Savior: The Search for the Jesus Tomb. Nashville: B&H Academic, 2008. Probably the best response to the claim that the Talpiot tomb was the tomb of Jesus and his family.

Swinburne, Richard. The Resurrection of God Incarnate. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002. Consummate philosopher’s examination of the evidence for the Resurrection.

Walker, Peter. The Weekend that Changed the World: The Mystery of Jerusalem’s Empty Tomb. Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press, 2000. Interesting exposition of the events surrounding the discovery of the empty tomb, offering numerous specific details based on archaeological research.

Wenham, John. Easter Enigma: Do the Resurrection Accounts Contradict One Another? 2nd ed. Grand Rapids: Baker, 1993. The best attempt to harmonize the Resurrection narratives.

Wright, N. T. The Resurrection of the Son of God. Christian Origins and the Question of God 3. Minneapolis: Augsburg Fortress, 2003. Tour de force defense of the physical resurrection against liberal reinterpretation; Wright at his best.


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